Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God. (Genesis 6:9)
When we think about Noah and his century-long ark-building project, we see him exactly as he is portrayed in our Scripture today: walking faithfully with God. But we all must remember that, just like a baby in the natural world who is learning to walk and taking his first steps, Noah had to learn how to walk in the spiritual world with his God. And what was true for Noah is true for you and me and all who have received the free gift of salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. Learning to walk by faith is not something that happens in a day . . . or even in a year or two! No, learning to walk by faith happens daily.
Each day we walk with God is but another step of faith; along the way, we are confronted with the same sort of challenges that the baby faces. At the beginning of our spiritual walk, we find that our spiritual legs are as weak and wobbly as our physical legs were when we took our first steps. After the baby begins to walk, the next challenge he faces is obstacles in the way that cause him to stumble. So too with our walk of faith; every day we walk with God we face challenges and obstacles that impede our forward progress. Yet we must prayerfully keep going, and God will ultimately lead us past everything that stands in our way.
The life of the believer is a life of learning how to walk with our God. Sometimes we walk well and rapidly advance down the path of life, but at other times we stumble and slowly slog our way along the avenue of adversity. This was true for every hero of the faith we read about in the Bible. Whether you are reading the Old Testament or the New, you see people like Noah, Sarah, Moses, Joshua, and David, Mary, Peter, James, and John, all who needed to learn how to walk by faith with God. And so must we all.
How has it been with you lately? Is your walk weak and wobbly, like the baby? Or strong and sturdy, like the athlete? Have you fallen and feel like you can’t get up? Remember, Christian, learning to walk by faith takes a lifetime. Along the way you will have times of joyful forward progress . . . and times of dismal failure. Never forget that God is walking with you, He who promised never to leave you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5). In those weak and wobbly moments when you fall, just as Peter went from walking on water to slipping beneath the sea, God is faithful to reach out and take you by the hand to make sure you fall forward toward your glorious eternal destiny.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!